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GARR National Network

Cloud Infrastructure

In addition to its high-performance network, GARR also operates a computing and storage infrastructure based on the cloud paradigm. The GARR Cloud platform is developed on top this infrastructure.

Available since 2016, the Cloud GARR platform is based on open source technologies and provides users and system administrators with a easy-to-use, highly automatable environment, with a wide choice of preconfigured tools.

Users can chose from a wide cloud offer:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): virtual machines or entire virtual datacentres allocated and managed through a dashboard or command line;
  • Deployment as a Service (DaaS): pre-packaged cloud applications that can be easily activated in a few clicks, to be selected in a catalogue on the network;
  • Container Platform: based on the Kubernetes platform, offers developers and system administrators the ability to load, organize, run, scale-up and manage container-based applications.
  • GARR Workplace: based on the OnlyOffice software, allows to instantiate on servers and storage dedicated to an organization a suite for document sharing, collaborative editing, project and group management. The suite can also be integrated with file sharing services.
White paper GARR Cloud

Do you want to know more about the model currently behind the GARR Federated Cloud?

White Paper GARR Cloud: a federated and replicable model for the provisioning of community cloud services - Download pdf
pdf download pdf (2.19 MB)

From 2020, a "cloud at home" reference architecture is available, to enable organisations having own hardware resources to easily set up a private cloud region, which can be federated into the GARR Cloud while maintaining all administrative privileges.

Main features

The GARR Cloud Platform harnesses its intrinsic robustness, modularity, security and capacity of the physical infrastructure to offer the Research and Education community:

  • Transparent access to resources, thanks to a unified management of AAI;
  • Flexible allocation of resources, thanks to geographical extensibility;
  • Granularity of security policies, that can be customised at the level of single users or resources.

Thanks to the chosen architecture model, and to total control of the underlying optical network infrastructure, GARR is able to manage security and throughput issues in an optimal way.In addition, network traffic segregation is implemented both at the infrastructure level (between the different management networks dedicated to the physical equipment, the servers and provided services) and at the user level.

The GARR cloud platform is characterized by some specific features:

  • Freedom from vendor lock-in risks, being entirely based on Open Source software (OpenStack, Kubernetes, Juju, OnlyOffice);
  • Federated, delegated and scalable cloud architecture;
  • Federated authentication;;
  • Wide catalogue of pre-configured plug-and-play cloud applications;
  • Process automation based on a declarative model.


The GARR Cloud Platform offers users all the key benefits featured by the cloud services available on the market:

  • agility and flexibility: using only the resources that are needed, when they are needed;
  • shared resources: resources not used by one party can be used by others;
  • lighter management and maintenance overhead for equipment and services required from the user side;
  • general costs reduction (acquisition and management of equipment) and cost model based on actual usage;
  • software always up-to-date.

In addition, the availability of a platform deployed and managed by the GARR user community itself allows:

  • competences sharing: the administration of the cloud and the competences needed to manage it are shared within the community;
  • sest and evaluation of architectures suitable for research purposes;
  • full exploitation of the high capacity connectivity offered by the GARR Network;
  • localisation of all equipment on the national territory, as an additional assurance of security and confidentiality;
  • independence of the workload from the infrastructure thanks to the adoption of standard APIs and Open Source software;
  • integration with other clouds, both public and private.

Federated cloud: the community cloud

The GARR Cloud Platform is intended to set an open, live and working model which can be replicated by other members of the research community.

As deploying and maintaining a cloud infrastructure is an endeavor which requires substantial resources, GARR promotes the aggregation of national cloud infrastructures through a federated approach. Members of the GARR community can participate in the extension of the GARR cloud platform by sharing resources and services by federating their cloud “regions”.

In this way, they are relieved of part of the burden of operational management and update of the infrastructure, while retaining the ownership of their infrastructure and of their know-how.

The GARR Federated Cloud approach reflects GARR’s mission as infrastructure aggregator and harmonizer, taking inspiration from GARR’s role for research and education networking infrastructures. In this perspective, GARR federated cloud team regularly organizes knowledge sharing sessions and tutorials that foster the community building. The objective is to foster the creation of an ecosystem that could retain all the knowledge at stake in the process of building such a complex infrastructures.